A Fishing Scene by Joseph Vernet and a Preemption by Versailles

On 21 June 2021, by Anne Doridou-Heim

The auction featured a painting by Vernet and a pair of corner tables by Carlin.

Claude Joseph Vernet (1714-1789), Pêcheurs retirant leur filet dans un paysage classique (Fishermen Pulling Up Their Net in a Classical Landscape), 1746, oil on canvas, 74 x 98 cm/29.13 x 38.58 in.
Result: €489,440

As the musée de la Vie romantique (Museum of Romantic Life) in Paris showcases Claude Joseph Vernet's storm paintings, a much calmer work by the 18th-century master, Pêcheurs retirant leur filet dans un paysage classique (Fishermen Pulling Up Their Net in a Classical Landscape) unleashed passions at auction, fetching €489,440—a good price for this powerful, Arcadian work made during a stay in Rome by the artist, who by a royal decision on September 27, 1753, was commissioned to do twenty views of French ports, of which 15 were completed. Most are in the musée de la Marine in Paris. Vernet was indubitably both a worthy heir of Claude Lorrain (c. 1600-1682), whose bright, sweeping style influenced him, and a harbinger of the Romantic feeling for nature that emerged in the next century.

Martin Carlin, received as a master in 1766, made the pair of stamped, inlaid rosewood and amaranth corner tables commissioned by the merchant Simon-Philippe Poirier (c. 1720–1785), who in 1770 had already supplied the future queen’s jewel box crafted by the same cabinetmaker, now in the Palace of Versailles. They were made, probably about 1775, for Marie-Antoinette’s private furniture storeroom. The tables were branded with the mark "GR/W", which corresponds to that of the attic of the Récollets convent in Versailles. Designed by Jules-Hardouin Mansart in 1684, the attic was used as a furniture repository for Queen Marie Leszczynska, the dauphine Marie-Josèphe de Saxe and Marie-Antoinette until 1784, when the royal administration was completely reorganized. All of these plusses prompted the Palace of Versailles to preempt them for €51,520.

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